It’s February and the new year's resolutions may well have fallen by the wayside. However, you still want to drop the pounds in time for the summer and have the beach body everyone wants. The crash diets which promise quick fat loss in a short period of time can appear to be the perfect remedy. A word of caution though, wide fluctuations in weight over a short period of time can cause both women and men to get stretch marks. More commonly associated with weight gain, stretch marks can appear from weight loss too.
Not everyone gets stretch marks when losing weight, genetics can play a role. Another factor is skin type, as some people have more elastic skin than others. Stretch marks generally affect the stomach and thighs, but they may also appear on the breasts, arms, and buttocks. There are no health risks associated with having stretch marks but they can have a negative effect on a person's self-esteem and body-confidence.
These are some of the things you can do to help prevent them from developing as you lose weight.
Lose it slowly!
“Patience is a virtue” & “Good things come to those who wait” two very appropriate proverbs when it comes to weight loss. Not only in a gradual weight loss more sustainable but it’s the best way to do it and avoid stretch marks. That’s because as the skin shrinks it loses its elasticity, especially in cases of rapid weight loss. You do not want to strain your skin as you take off excess pounds. Loss of collagen fibers in the dermis is what causes stretch marks to show through the top layer of skin.
Food is fuel
When losing weight still include foods rich in protein, vitamins C and E and zinc in your diet. These nutrients stimulate collagen production, which can help prevent stretch marks. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that individuals in their 40s and 50s are less likely to develop stretch marks. The reason is that by midlife a person’s skin begins to thin and lose its elasticity as collagen in the outer and middle layers of the skin breaks down.
Drink, Drink, Drink!
Your body is 80% water so it’s an obvious but often overlooked point that you need to keep your skin well hydrated. Drink plenty of water to keep skin soft and supple so that stretch marks are less likely to form. Dry skin has less elasticity.
Make it part of your skin routine
There are over the counter products, such as SilDerm Prevention oil that can help you reduce the risk of getting stretch marks. Applying this as part of your daily routine will help in the fight against stretch marks.
As with any weight/fat loss regime, exercise should be incorporated into the routine. Light stretching exercises will improve circulation and skin elasticity. In addition to stretching, resistance and strength training exercises build lean muscle mass as you lose body fat which helps hold the skin in place.
Stress can interfere with collagen production in the skin, contributing to the development of stretch marks. Reducing stress in your life may actually help protect you from getting stretch marks as you lose weight.